Action Alert
Take Action Say NO to "Hillary-Care" for Kids!
Tell your Representatives to vote AGAINST the expansion of SCHIP!
UPDATE: On January 26, 2009, the Senate will begin consideration of H.R. 2, the House-passed version of SCHIP.  We anticipate debate on all of the problem areas listed below and we understand that Republicans will be allowed to offer amendments and alternatives.

UPDATE: On January 14th, 2009, the Republican minority offered a motion to recommit (MTR) with instructions to scrap the text of H.R. 2 and insert alternative language that would have covered low-income children first, served only U.S. citizens and certain legal residents, protected private health insurance companies from being crowded out by government-run programs, and provided stable, controlled funding without massive spending increases or raising taxes on the American people. Unfortunately, the MTR failed by a vote of 179 to 247 (Roll Call 15). The House then passed H.R. 2 by a vote of 289 to 139 (Roll Call 16). The SCHIP reauthorization now awaits Senate action.

January 13, 2009
The House is scheduled to vote on the reauthorization and expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) on Wednesday, January 14th.  The House will convene at 10:00 a.m. to begin legislative business, so your calls and emails are urgently needed!

Sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), the State Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (H.R. 2), would amend Title XXI of the Social Security Act both to reauthorize the program for the next five years and to expand the program to higher income families.  If the bill is not reauthorized, SCHIP will expire on March 31, 2009.  Because the Majority realizes that the American people do not want SCHIP to be expanded and remade into a universal entitlement program -- basically a version of "Hillary-Care" for kids -- they kept secret the text of the bill until the afternoon before the scheduled vote.  After a quick study of the language, the bill appears to contain the following problems:

  • Promotes massive government-run health care at taxpayer's expense.  H.R. 2 calls for a direct spending increase of $32.3 billion above and beyond the current levels for the next five years.
  • Increases taxes on working families by instituting a tobacco tax increase of 61 cents per pack. This tax increase -- an 156% spike in the price -- will hurt low- and middle-income families the hardest, while scape-goating only a certain segment of the American population (smokers) for purchasing and using a legal product.
  • Provides SCHIP benefits to adults, in addition to children.  H.R. 2 allows for the treatment of "pregnant women" as children, rather than covering and providing for the treatment of the unborn child.  The current program already covers an estimated 6 million children and this reauthorization is intended to extend coverage to an additional 4 million people.
  • Cancels the requirement that participants in the SCHIP program provide documents verifying their citizenship.  This opens to the door to fraud and targets populations such as illegal immigrants.
  • Repeals the ban on legal immigrants from receiving federal health benefits during their first five years in the United States.  The new provision gives the states the option to bypass the 5-year waiting period and provide coverage, placing U.S. citizens' eligibility for coverage on par with that of non-citizens'.

It is important to keep in mind that House Republicans created SCHIP back in 1997 in order to help needy children in low-income families.  Today, congressional liberals have hijacked the program in order to further their goal of massively expanding government-run health care.  President Bush twice vetoed previous attempts to massively expand SCHIP in 2007 and 2008.  

Eagle Forum will keep you updated as more information and thorough analysis of this bill becomes available.  Be sure to check back at the Eagle Forum website!

Please start calling your Representatives now and tell them to offer amendments to remove the tobacco tax, cut spending levels, and restore the immigration and verification provisions!  This vote is planned for early Wednesday, January 14th!
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